Posts Tagged ‘Mike Garrett’

Mike Garrett Out, Pat Haden in as USC athletic director; compliance strengthened

July 20, 2010

The University of Southern California took a step toward cleaning up its athletic program, which has been so diminished ethically under the see-no-evil eyes of Mike Garrett.

C. L. Max Nikias will become president of USC on August 3. He announced today that Pat Haden, former Trojan quarterback and academic all-American, would become athletic director on the same day. It looks like a signal from the new president that he wants nothing to do—not even a day overlap—with the world of Mike Garrett.

Haden said the right things at his first meeting with the press: His main goals were to “compete ferociously and win in every sport,” but do it “ethically and within the rules.” Haden said he wanted to have a “culture of compliance here and have the best compliance department in the country.”

Nikias announced several other actions to bolster USC’s compliance with the rules. He named David M. Roberts to a new post of vice president for athletic compliance, saying he believed this would be the first position of its kind in the nation. (more…)

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

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USC’s Lane Kiffin is an ethical hero for releasing Seantrel Henderson

July 8, 2010

USC and its new football coach, Lane Kiffin, deserve big-time credit for ethical behavior. The athletic department, headed by ex-Trojan great Mike Garrett, has for months been reeling from scandal involving former Trojan stars Reggie Bush and O. J. Mayo, and from the sudden departure of coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll’s replacement, Lane Kiffin, soon looked like a miracle worker, assembling a group of high school seniors that ranked among the top recruiting classes in the nation, headed by 6’8, 337 pound Seantrel Henderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, everybody’s choice as high school player of the year. Sports Illustrated described Henderson as “probably the most polished lineman of the past decade.” He plays left tackle, the position glorified by The Blind Side.

Henderson has now decided he doesn’t want to go to USC. If he transfers to another school, having signed a formal commitment to USC, NCAA rules require him to sit out for a year before becoming eligible to play. Unless the Trojans release him from his commitment. Which is what Kiffin just did.

Here’s a coach putting the good of the player first. Good news for a fan of both ethics and the Trojans.

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No shame at USC for NCAA sanctions. The USC response: “There was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.”

June 11, 2010

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has imposed harsh penalties on the USC athletic program for disregarding NCAA rules and for permitting a general campus environment that made compliance efforts difficult.

USC is barred from post-season bowl games for two years, is losing ten scholarships a year for three years, is on probation for four years, and is docked 14 victories and probably the 2004 national championship, The bowl ban could be especially costly: the Rose Bowl paid its participating teams $13.5 million each last year.

USC’s sin: allowing super star Reggie Bush and his parents “impermissible benefits in the form of cash, merchandise, an automobile, housing, hotel lodging, and transportation…worth many thousands of dollars,” and allowing basketball star O. J. Mayo to collect “benefits in the form of cash, lodging, merchandise, automobile transportation, meals, airline transportation, and services.”

Pete Carroll, arguably the most successful football coach in America for the past nine years, was “absolutely shocked and disappointed” at the NCAA decision. He protested that “We didn’t know, the University didn’t know” about the Bush violations. Carroll may not have known, but Todd McNair, a USC assistant coach did. And athletic director Mike Garrett made it clear that he didn’t want to hear about the Mayo affair. (more…)


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